21 May 2010

Oxfam says New Zealand aid allocation falling behind targets

1:14 pm on 21 May 2010

The NGO, Oxfam, says New Zealand is not providing enough foreign aid to meet the Pacific's urgent needs and New Zealand's international obligations.

In this week's budget, the New Zealand Government lifted aid spending by five percent to 350 million US dollars.

Oxfam New Zealand executive director, Barry Coates, says they welcome the increase in a tight budget year, but the country is falling behind the goal of 0.7 percent of gross national income going to overseas aid by 2015.

He says New Zealand is falling behind the international community in its commitment to helping people in poor countries work their way out of poverty.

Mr Coates says some of the Scandinavian countries have already met the target.

"The European Union as a whole is undertaking to get there by 2015. Australia has just announced big aid increases on their way to point five percent by 2015, so New Zealand is in danger of falling behind some of the other countries we should be comparing ourselves to in terms of aid giving."